Actor Allen Leech (Tom Branson in Downton Abbey, John Cairncross in upcoming The Imitation Game) announced his new role as patron of Irish charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).
CRY is a charity very close to Allen’s heart. As a teenager, he lost his friend Peter Greene to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. Peter was just 15 years old and had recently completed his Junior Certificate exams. Allen has remained a life long friend of Peter’s parents who set up CRY in the aftermath of their son’s untimely death in 2002.
Allen recently attended CRY’s ‘Pure Style Event’ and spoke about his friendship with Peter, and the shock of losing his friend so suddenly and so young.
“I'm delighted to be a Patron for CRY. My friend Pete, who passed away at 15 years of age from SADS, is never far from my thoughts and it makes me very proud to help bring further support and awareness to this wonderful charity set up by Peter's parents Michael and Marie".
Peter’s parents Michael and Marie Greene are the co-founders of CRY Ireland. Michael Greene said: “We are delighted to have Allen Leech as a patron of CRY Ireland. Allen has been a supporter of CRY since its inception and his close links to my son Peter makes this personal for us. We are proud of Allen’s success and delighted that he has agreed to help raise awareness for SADS and CRY.”
CRY raise awareness of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) and is an umbrella term for the electrical heart conditions that can cause sudden cardiac death in young people.
At least one young person per week dies from sudden cardiac death or Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome in Ireland.
Cardiac disease in young people is mostly caused by inherited heart disease or a birth defect. It is estimated that more than 10,000 people in Ireland carry genes for inherited heart disease, more often than not unknowingly.
A centre for Cardio- vascular Risk in Young Persons was set up in Tallaght Hospital in 2007, which is supported by CRY.